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The Genesis of Letters

Dear Mom,

I feel as though so much of my own life occurs and changes through a sort of cyber-alchemy: each youtube video, jpeg image and article further molding me into the being I am striving to become. So much of our human experience is media based yet so much of this goes undiscussed between friends and family members.

With this blog Mom, I hope to strengthen the bond between us and really change the way that we interact and know each other. I can think of no greater gift I can give you than the real me as I know myself and hopefully through these posts you'll be able to enter some of the inner workings of my mind. I know I'm a bit of a pain sometimes Mom but maybe I'll be less of a bother when I'm not in the room to make such a terrible racket for you :P

Hopefully you enjoy it. Thank you for always being a great Mom for T and I!

Lots of Love, Dylan

Developing Willpower, by Jason Shen

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Jason Shen has achieved tremendous success in athletics, technology entrepreneurship, writing, and living an outstanding life. To promote his recent GiveGetWin deal on The Science of Willpower, he sat down to tell us how he started learning about willpower, the state of what's known scientifically about how willpower and the brain work, and how you can start improving your life right away by implementing a tiny habit, thinking and systems, and using some powerful thinking tools. Enjoy:

Developing Willpower by Jason Shen, as told to Sebastian Marshall

Willpower has been an undercurrent in my entire life. In gymnastics, you have to use your willpower to overcome your fear of an activity and go for the skill you want, to get over the fear, to push yourself to finish your conditioning and strength training a part of you doesn't want to…

It didn't come automatically to me. When I was a student, I wasn't automatically self-disciplined. There were actions I knew were useful, like doing my homework in one session without getting distracted, or not throwing clothing on my apartment floor. But I wouldn't always do them, and I didn't know why.

I started to learn those answers during a student initiative course at Stanford called The Psychology of Personal Change. That's when I first started reading academic papers on the topic. In academia, willpower and self-discipline is often called "self-regulation," and in 2009 I started to get really serious about it from an academic perspective -- and saw gains from it in my personal life.

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